Dedicated to understanding  the remarkable emotional, social and mental abilities of birds, and the unsuspected richness of their societies.

Don't Stand Still For The Goanna

goanna running in the yardI'm going to detract from the birds and tell you about the goanna today.  They are also called the Australian Monitor Lizard.  They are predatory creatures and hunt for birds, eggs, snakes, smaller lizards and insects.  they often take chicks and eggs out of birds' nests or catch a bird when its resting.

Needless to say, they are not a bird's best friend.  In fact the bird don't like them at all.  The birds have a good warning system.  If any bird catches sight of goanna, they alert everyone else.  All the other birds come and help chase the goanna out of their territory.  The goanna is clever at disguising itself. You will see from the slideshow (click here) that once they're up a tree, they blend so well with the bark that they are hard to spot. 

 

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The Quails Are Not Backward Either

a family of quails For  the last two days I've been telling you about noisy-miners.  Now the miners are considered to be one of the more aggressive birds in the country.  They work in teams and families and can stand up to big birds like the crows and gang up on any bird  who won't give into their demands (e.g the friarbirds).

Quails on the other  hand are considered to be very timid and extremely vulnerable.  They have been easy targets for shooters and fall prey to predatory birds.

So imagine our surprise when a family of quails walked down from the grassy paddock into our backyard for a grand tour of the human habitat.  The adults were so confident and proud of their little chicks who were barely days old.  They inspected the bird baths, walked along the garden, checked out the undergrowth beneath the bushes, pausing every now and then to point significant items of interest to their young flock. They came right up to the back door and took a good long look inside.  By the time I grabbed the camera and focussed through the glass, it was time for them to leave, so some of the shots

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When A Bird Chooses You For A Friend

Minnie bird - the Noisy miner The magpies were the first birds we became friends with, even though they came into yard years after the noisy miners, peewees and pied butcherbirds.  

Minnie noisy-miner (left) initiated the friendship.  For weeks she had been watching us talk to the magpies. The two species do not eat the same foods. Noisy-miners eat insects and nectar from the plants.  They love the grevillea bushes (pictured below with a rainbow lorikeet),  (experts liken it to a McDonalds for noisy-miners) and Minnie would spend hours hopping from flower to flower in our backyard.  Magpies on the other hand are bug eaters - they like to potter on the ground digging out bugs and worms. They also like a bit of cheese and bread, which should only be given to them in small quantities as a supplement to their natural diet.

 

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How To Get A Good Night's Sleep

When you suffer from any sort of sleep disorder nothing else seems so important as a good night’s rest.

And even if you THINK you’re getting a restful sleep, studies show it’s probably NOT the sort of deep, DEEP sleep that can provide the

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Inter-species Friendships in Birds

Maggie magpie and Minnie Noisy Miner best friends

 We've been observing the wild birds who live freely in the trees around our home for ten years.  Many of them are our friends. We know them by name, shape, looks and habits.  They all know their names and each others' names.  They call the one we ask for, often going into the valley to find them and bring them back.

Many naturalists say that the different species don't interact with each other.  But our experience and observations tell us otherwise.  The birds have amazing friendships with birds from other species, even other animals and certainly with us humans.  They are

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